Cookbook Review: The New Best Recipe
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Cookbook Review: The New Best Recipe

It seems like there are as many cookbooks out there as there are grains of sand.  Okay, that might be a bit of an overstatement, but there’s still a boatload of cookbooks.  I’ve got a nice little collection, but over the years I’ve found out which cookbook is the most reliable and the most useful.  If you can only have one cookbook, you need The New Best Recipe by America’s Test Kitchen.

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Cookbook Overview


I received this cooking bible from my aunt many years ago and it has been by my side for many, many recipes.  To quote the front cover, “The timeless kitchen companion featuring 1,000 foolproof recipes, illustrated kitchen tutorials, and unbiased product ratings.”  And guys, this isn’t a sponsored post, I genuinely love this cookbook!


Find out which cookbook is the only one you need!

This behemoth clocks in at 1,028 pages of pure delicious knowledge.  It contains 22 chapters, such as salads, pasta and noodles, fish and shellfish, pizza, calzones, and focaccia, cookies, brownies, and bar cookies, crisps, cobblers, and other fruit desserts, and so much more!


What I Love


By far, what I love most about this cookbook is the in-depth explanation before every recipe.  There is a page or two before every recipe that explains their testing process and what they were trying to achieve with the ingredients.  This is so helpful because if you want to take the recipe in another direction, that’s you’re starting point. It will also help you understand how recipes and ingredients work in general, making it easier to get creative with your cooking and baking.



Over the years, I’ve found that finding a recipe online, or even in a less reliable cookbook, can have varied results.  By all means, try them (like mine, please!), but if you need a recipe that’s almost always guaranteed, this is the cookbook for you.  The chefs may make the recipe dozens of times just to nail down all of the details.



This cookbook also rocks my socks because it covers E V E R Y T H I N G.  Legit. You’ve got dinners, sides, sweets, and more covered for life. These recipes are all pretty classic, so you don’t need to worry about the cookbook losing its use over the years.


What’s Lacking


I love this cookbook, but nothing in this world is perfect.  Sometimes, rarely, the recipes underwhelm me, but I’m not perfect, so let’s chalk that up to user error.  If I’m registering any complaints, the cookbook is almost too big. This thing is the size of a small child and sometimes, I just don’t feel like wrestling it out.  But how can I really complain when it has every recipe I’d ever need?  Also, no pictures, just illustrations.  Kinda wish there were some, but that would make this cookbook even bigger.  But let me just say, it makes an excellent tofu press!  Make sure to put foil between your wrapped tofu and the book so it doesn’t get wet, but the heft really helps here.



In the spirit of transparency, I’d also like to let you know that these are classic recipes that never go out of style.  Which means they also aren’t in style.  Catch my drift?  There’s no recipes for avocado toast or rainbow bagels here.  I like baking fun new recipes, but for trendy food, it’s probably better to stick with a cheaper, smaller cookbook anyways.  Maybe the Tasty Cookbook?


Amazing Recipes


Coffee Cake Layer Cake



When I made my Coffee Cake Layer Cake, I knew I wanted a reliable yellow cake in this recipe since I was going to be attempting my first drip cake.  Naturally I turned to my trusty The New Best Recipe cookbook for this. I found this yellow cake recipe to be super interesting because it used the “two-stage method” to mix the batter, which I had never done before.  The cake was amazing! Super flavorful and it worked perfectly with the cinnamon cream cheese frosting and cinnamon pecan streusel.


Savory Ham & Brie Bread


Enjoy a thick slice of savory ham and brie bread topped with a smear of fig jam. This sweet and salty combination was inspired by a sandwich I ate over a decade ago! I love this quick bread recipe.


If you read my post about this bread, you know that I’d been dreaming of ham, brie, and fig jam for years.  When I finally decided to turn it into a loaf, I didn’t really know how to go about achieving my tasty dream.  I ended up pulling out Old Faithful here and found a cheese bread recipe. After reading about how they developed the recipe, I knew exactly how I was going to create my own.  



Cinnamon Swirl Bread


Cinnamon Swirl Bread


Bread is absolutely delicious and I love it to death, but baking it can sometimes be a struggle for me.  So when I made this Cinnamon Swirl Bread, I decided to stick to the recipe and not get crazy. Oh em gee, y’all!  The yeast dough was so much fun to knead and that gorgeous cinnamon swirl was crazy yummy. I was so proud of myself for baking such a lovely loaf.  Practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to tackle problem recipes, even if it means playing it safe.


To Wrap It Up


Having a bunch of trendy cookbooks can make spending time in the kitchen really exciting.  But it’s also important to have at least one solid cookbook that can walk you through the basics.  A friend to lean on when you need help developing a recipe. The New Best Recipe is, without a doubt, the best cookbook to own, especially for beginners.  



The chefs explain each recipe thoroughly and give you detailed illustrations when you need to use a specific technique.  Using this cookbook to conquer new skills and learning to get creative with your food is going to make you so much more confident in the kitchen.  As always, when you end up with a blunder, don’t waste that opportunity! Try to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. With this cookbook as a resource, you’re sure to find success with plenty of practice.


The Belle of the Ball



Do you have a cookbook that you adore?  Tell me, tell me! And don’t forget to like my Facebook page so you get updates about new posts.


Cookbook Review

Hi there! I’m Colleen, a novice baker with a passion for learning and improving my bakes… and blunders. On Bakes and Blunders, you can find all sorts of tasty recipes that range in difficulty, but most importantly, I’ll try to explain the reason behind important steps. If you know why a recipe works, you can tweak and adapt it to suit your unique tastes, and you’ll be able to reliably produce some very delicious treats. If you love baking and want to expand and grow your skills, or if you are a casual baker and just need some pointers, my blog is right up your alley! Join me on my baking journey and we’ll learn how to make more impressive recipes together.


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